High Impact Creatives, Non-gaming

Video ads: 4 non-gaming apps that are killing it

Ben Figueroa
Dec 14, 2016

There’s always a lot of discussion in the mobile industry about how mobile game developers monetize their games, and for good reason: they’re often the trailblazers. But with mobile video advertising across the board becoming more and more popular every year and as we look toward 2017, when mobile video ad spend is expected to be over $6.7 billion, it’s important to look at non-gaming apps to see how they use video ads. Here are some apps within a few different categories that are successfully using video ads to monetize:


MeetMe is a cool dating app that is built on the idea that good matches depend on shared interests. It uses rewarded video in a few different ways. Users can watch rewarded video to boost themselves and their posts, to unlock stealth mode (so they can look at other people’s profiles and photos without being seen), and see who has viewed their photos — all of which make the app experience more enjoyable and engaging for the user.


MeetMe users can watch rewarded video to access premium features.


Trebel, a music app, leverages rewarded video explicitly in its store (by tapping “AD PLAY”, the user watches a video ad in exchange for coins that they can use to download).


In Trebel’s store, users can earn currency by tapping AD PLAY.

But Trebel also does something cool that blends the concept of rewarded video with native: the user clicks on a song and is prompted to “download for free.” Then the user can see the progress of the download on the same screen as the video ad plays, so the video feels like part of the app. That approach makes for a very sleek experience for the users.


Trebel also blends the concepts of rewarded and native.


These days lots of photo and video apps are using rewarded video. VivaVideo, a Chinese app that has been localized in over 100 countries, does a great job with that. With VivaVideo, users can watch rewarded video to unlock premium features like themes and stickers that they can then use with their photos and videos.

Here’s an example:


Stickers are all the rage with some photo and video editing apps.


Here the call-to-action for rewarded video is clear.

In this case, rewarded video offers the user customization as a premium experience, and I think that strategy demonstrates that users are willing to watch rewarded video in exchange for downloads or expanded access and features, but also for features that make their experience more creative, expressive, and personal.


Finally there’s Wishbone, a highly entertaining, playful and sticky app where users scroll through binary “choices” (like pugs or yorkies) and indicate which one they like better. Once the user has gone through fifteen screens (cards with choices on them), a video interstitial plays. It’s a very simple way of delivering video ads, and it really works.


Users of Wishbone watch a video after every 15 “cards”.

One of the most important things you can do as a developer is continually look at and engage with other apps — and not just those you’re directly competing with for users. This is particularly important as video becomes ever more present in mobile advertising. A strategy deployed by a developer in a totally different category could inspire you to think about your strategy in a whole new way and ultimately lead to more revenues. Whatever you do though, be sure to test and keep a close eye on the data to make sure that you’re headed down the right path! In the end, your ad revenues are tied to a good user experience with those ads, and data will give you the most solid insights into how the two are connected.

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